Page 111 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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dealt with that aspect of the question, I wish more briefly to refer to portions of Questions 21 and 24 - the latter portion only of Question 21. “What is the proportion which each of these numbers” (that is, the numbers of the different classes) “bears to the corresponding total on board immediately before the casualty? What reason is there for the disproportion, if any?” and Question 24, “What was the cause of the loss of the ‘Titanic’ and of the loss of life which thereby ensued or occurred? Was the construction of the vessel and its arrangements such as to make it difficult for any class of passenger or any portion of the crew to take full advantage of the existing provisions for safety?” Now, there has been a huge volume of evidence given, and I do not desire to range over it at large. A brilliant writer, my Lord, has invented, or constructed, a somewhat unorthodox paradox, that the best way to meet a temptation is to yield to it. Like many paradoxes, my Lord, I fear that is only half a truth, and I am much too orthodox in morals to practice it on this occasion, and, therefore, I shall confine myself to the questions that more immediately concern me. Now might I refer your Lordship to the Certificate for Clearance? I am here specially representing, as your Lordship knows, all the third class passengers. I represent, I am glad to say, not only my own countrymen but also the English third class passengers, and thereby, I hope, symbolise in some way that community of interests and sentiment which we all hope in the near future will be established between the two countries. There were 710 third class passengers carried, and out of that number, my Lord, 176 were saved. Now, there were 113 (Your Lordship asked for this, and perhaps I may be allowed to repeat it) Irish passengers taken on at Queenstown, and of that number 57 were males and 56 females. Out of the 57 males, my Lord, 7 were saved, 12 percent; and out of the 56 females 33 were saved, making 59 percent. Now, might I refer your Lordship to the Table in the evidence, which you will get at page 479, and just compare that with the percentages as given in the Table. Of the first class passengers the percentage saved (I need not trouble with the numbers) was men 34 percent, women 97 percent, and children 100 percent. Of the second class, men 8 percent, women 84 percent, and children 100 percent. Of the third class, men 12 percent., women 55 percent., and children 30 percent. The disproportion, as your Lordship sees, is very considerable. Now, my Lord, of the Irish, a constituent element of the third class, of men there were 12 percent. saved, exactly the same as the percentage of the whole of the third class passengers; women, 59 percent, and there is no figure furnished to me as regards the children. The Attorney-General: They are all under the males and females. Mr. Harbinson: I thank you, Mr. Attorney-General; I did not know. Through a question I put to Sir Walter Howell, when he was in the witness chair, asking the number with reference to third class emigrants, I merely quote this to show your Lordship the importance of the class - I have no reason to believe your Lordship would dispute it, but I thought it proper to put the question, and with great courtesy Sir Walter Howell has furnished me with the returns for the last ten years. I do not propose to read that because it would take too long, but may I mention that I have added up the numbers and I find that the number of third class Irish passengers who have gone to North America for the last ten years from 1902 to 1911 is 294,359, and that the number of British passengers who have gone to North America during the same period is 1,369,260. Those figures show, my Lord, that the proportion of Irish passengers who have crossed the North Atlantic to North America in that 10 years bears to the proportion of the total number of third class passengers who have gone from Great Britain the relation of between one-fourth and one- fifth. Between one-fourth and one-fifth of the whole number who have crossed to North America in that time, steerage passengers, have come from Ireland. If your Lordship cares to see this table you can have it afterwards for the purpose of verification. The Commissioner: I am listening to it. Mr. Harbinson: I quote that, my Lord, to reinforce two facts; first, the number of Irish
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